Thanksgiving has just ended. Even though I don’t approve of putting up Christmas decorations this early, our friends at NewFreeScreensavers have just added 15 new free screensavers.
I’m sure you can find plenty of other screensavers out there, but be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them. As many of you have learned, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.
One of the nice features of these screensavers is that they now have settings to mute the sounds. Some of the screensavers also have a setting to include a small analog clock on the screen.
I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.
According to BitDefender, 2 out of 10 Facebook Walls (or Newsfeeds) are infected or at risk in some way. In October, BitDefender, a well known anti-virus and security provider, launched a Facebook app called BitDefender safego. Safego scans your Facebook wall posts to determine if there are any links to bad apps or risky links. Here’s a quote from BitDefender:
BitDefender safego > Since its launch,BitDefender safego has managed to scan 17 million Facebook posts and it has detected infections on the news feeds of around 20% of its users.We are glad we’ve been able to warn our users of these threats and we’ll continue to focus our efforts on adding new security features and increasing our detection rate. Thanks everyone for your feedback and remember: if your friends stay safe, then you’re safe!
In addition to all of Facebook’s privacy problems, everyone should know by now that it’s a huge source of infections for Windows PCs. BitDefender apparently decided that it was time to help warn people about this problem.
The free BitDefender safego app is currently in Beta testing, and you can try it out by visiting the page while logged into Facebook. In addition to the link and app checking abilities of BitDefender safego, it also checks your profile for information that you should not be sharing.
I was fortunate enough to get a clean bill of health from safego, can you say the same thing about your Wall? Give safego a try now to be sure.
If you are curious, here’s the latest peek at the Chrome OS wallpaper and screensaver.
(Wallpaper: click to enlarge)
(Screensaver: click to see animation)
Naturally, these images could change any time before the actual release.
Some people believe that the delays in Chrome OS are due to Android being used in more and more devices. Some say that there isn’t a big demand for a cloud OS that depends entirely on web apps. For a good example of a cloud OS, see Jolicloud.
Evernote 4 for Windows has been updated and it adds quite a few new exciting features. First off, it now has improvised search where keywords are highlighted within the notes. Secondly, they have added a new feature which will allow you to import notes for OneNote 2007 and OneNote 2010 and the ability to export your notes as a MHT files.
The name of this web browser addon tells you who it helps. If you are addicted to sharing cool links or awesome images in Twitter, Facebook or any other social web service, Shareaholic could help.
I tried it out, and it’s helped my sharing output already. Shareaholic supports sending content to over 100 different services.
It’s easy to install and use. Just point your web browser to the Shareaholic home page, and install the plugin. They support Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, Opera, Flock and Songbird.
Once installed, you’ll be prompted to customize it, so that it shows only the services that you use. Clicking on he Shareaholic icon in your browser will bring up the sharing menu.
You might have noticed from the image above, that you can assign keyboard shortcut keys for each service. You can also use it to shorten long URLs. That’s really handy. I also like the simple posts it creates.
What did Microsoft do that puts libraries at risk?
They retired Windows SteadyState. In case you haven’t heard about it, SteadyState is a free application for Windows XP and Vista which completely protects a Windows operating system from everything except a hardware crash. It makes Windows almost bullet-proof. Thousands of home users, internet cafes, schools and public libraries depend on SteadyState for protection. However, it won’t be available for Windows 7.
According to Yardena,
â€¦ not only is SteadyState incompatible with Win7, Microsoft says it has no plans to introduce a Windows 7-compatible version. That’s leaving some IT managers scrambling for replacement technology and others vowing not to upgrade to Windows 7 at all.
If you settled for the answer given in that Windows Secrets post, you’d give up. In the article, Yardena says:
Third-party solutions, such as Faronics’ Deep Freeze, don’t appeal to cash-strapped educational institutions, which are already spending considerable money upgrading to Windows 7.
Worse yet, if you listen to Microsoft, they’ll tell you that you don’t need it. Here’s the Microsoft spin:
We have just released a whitepaper along with an accompanying document that describes Group Policy settings that you can use to configure computer and user settings and also a reference excel worksheet which can be used to look up and filter the settings described in the whitepaper. (source)
Fortunately, a security company named Comodo, recently released a free replacement for Windows SteadyState. As far as I can tell, Comodo Time Machine does nearly everything SteadyState does. It’s currently supported and works in Windows XP, Vista and 7.
If a librarian or teacher came to me and asked about setting up several public computers , I’d have two ready answers for them. I could save them money and practically guarantee that they wouldn’t have any spyware or virus problems.
1. I’d burn a set of Live CD’s with Edubuntu on them. They could disable the hard drives and put these in the CD Rom drives. Whenever the PC boots up, they’d have a fresh new operating system that’s ready to use and kid-proof.
a free tool that will automatically create your email account in Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail just by providing your email address.
That’s right, all you do is launch it, enter your email address, name and client.
Here’s what it looks like.
Outlook AutoConfig will look up the email provider in it’s database and automatically configure your email client to use the correct settings. If it doesn’t work on your provider, you can contact the author to have your provider added to the database.
The next time you launch your email, you will be prompted to enter the password for the account.
Manually adding accounts to an email client is one of the toughest tasks involved with email setup. Outlook AutoConfig can make it painless. Since it’s a stand-alone program, no installation is needed and it’s simple to use. I highly recommend it.
Yesterday, I told you why you should upgrade Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail. My main concern is that Outlook Express is old, and that it’s no longer supported by Microsoft. People will continue to have problems with OE, and it’s never going to improve. Almost any new email client would be better right now. So, if you don’t like Windows Live Mail, or Mozilla Thunderbird, you might like Incredimail.
What’s so great about Incredimail?
Many people might tell you that Incredimail was designed for teen-aged girls. However, it’s flexible and even the more conservative email users can enjoy it. Once you look past the eye-candy filled interface, you might agree.
Here’s what the website says about this free email client:
Send beautiful email backgrounds
Add 1000’s of fun emoticons to your emails
Enjoy animated email notifiers
See exciting 3D effects in your emails
Add funny animations to your emails
Add cool sounds to your email messages
Install and Setup
Once you’ve downloaded Incredimail and start the install, there’s one screen that I’ll warn you about. As you can see below, Incredimail offers to change your default search engine and install a search toolbar. I haven’t found anything bad about these additions, and it’s up to you if you want them. You can remove them by clicking the Custom Installationbutton, and unchecking the filled check-boxes.
Setting up your existing email accounts is easy. If you are already using Outlook Express, You can import your correct email account configuration. When I installed it, this happened automatically and Incredimail was ready to use immediately.
Here’s a quick preview of what the Incredimail client looks like while it’s running.
There are tons of ways to customize the emails that you send. Here’s one I sent to my wife.
How much do you love your Outlook Express email? I subscribe to several newsletters and other various help sites. One of the applications that I see people asking about often is Outlook Express. There always seems to be someone having problems with it.
I used it for several years myself, and I remember having a few problems too. I think it’s time for people to leave Outlook Express behind. If you agree that it’s time to try something new, I have a suggestion for you; upgrade to Windows Live Mail (WLM).
Why would it be a good idea to change?
Microsoft designed Windows Live Mail as a replacement for Outlook Express 6. You could say that it’s Outlook Express 7 and you wouldn’t be too far from the truth.
It’s a good idea to keep your software upgraded to the latest supported versions. Outlook Express is no longer supported by Microsoft. Unsupported software is typically more vulnerable to attack by hackers.
WLM has more features. You can add MS Messenger, RSS Feeds and a Calendar with reminders.
Is it hard to switch from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail?
It’s easy. The first thing WLM does when it installs, is to look for an existing version of Outlook Express. It will automatically import all of your contacts, settings and old mail. If you decide you don’t like it, you can uninstall it and Outlook Express will still be there.